Investigation Exposes the True Cost of Fur

Another recent undercover investigation into the U.S. trapping industry highlights the horrors behind different types of traps — and why Americans need to drop their love of fur products altogether.

In 2011, Born Free USA and Respect for Animals exposed the suffering traps cause their victims, the unethical and illegal behaviors of trappers and problem with a lack of oversight.

Unfortunately, Born Free has just followed up with a second investigation, Victims of Vanity II, that highlights the fact that little has changed over the years. This industry remains as brutal as ever, and millions of furbearing animals continue to pay the price because of the demand for their fur.

The latest investigation was conducted by an investigator over the 2015-2016 winter trapping season, following trappers who set up a variety of archaic devices, including body-gripping Conibear traps, leghold traps and drown poles on private and public land, including places where trapping is illegal in New York and Iowa. These traps not only cause suffering of target animals who are caught, but pose a risk to non-target animals, threatened and endangered species, people and pets.

“Our investigator witnessed callous disregard for wildlife, public safety, and the law. This detailed report shows illegal steel-jaw leghold bear traps for sale; the use of Conibear, leghold, and drown-pole traps in the six-million-acre national historic landmark, Adirondack Park; and traps set next to homes, and a trap line for beaver in a park where trapping is prohibited. The footage we obtained is heartbreaking, and the fact that this archaic, barbaric practice is still going on is impossible to comprehend,” said Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free.

Warning: Graphic Content

According to Born Free, the number of trappers has grown by 20 percent since 2004, but they’re still a vast minority and public opposition has continued to mount against them, while avocates for furbearers have continued to push for legislation from the local to federal level that will help bring this industry to an end.

In response to concerns about the cruelty inherent in trapping, and dangers traps pose to the public, a number of lawmakers have introduced federal legislation that will help protect all potential victims of traps, including:

The Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act will make refuges the havens for wildlife they were intended to be by baning the use of body-gripping traps throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act will ban interstate commerce and shipments of both leghold and Conibear traps, which are believed to be used by 90 percent of trappers.

The Limiting Inhumane Federal Trapping (LIFT) for Public Safety Act will ban the use of Conibear traps, leghold traps and snares on public lands administered by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior, and will prohibit any government employees, including those from Wildlife Services, from setting them.

Hopefully these bills will pass and continued efforts to raise awareness about the true cost of fur products will finally kill the demand that has kept this sickening industry alive.

For more information on the investigation and ways to help, check out Victims of Vanity II. You can also check out Fur Free Retailer to find an international list of compassionate companies that have formally pledged never to sell fur.

And you can sign the Care2 petition asking Congress to protect wildlife from cruel and dangerous traps.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marie W.
Marie W2 years ago

Ban trapping!

Beth M.
Beth M2 years ago

Mailed 40-year-old fur coat to Born Free last week.

Angela K.
Angela K2 years ago

petition signed & shared

heather g.
heather g2 years ago

I'm always shocked at so-called "1st World" behaviour. On top of that, they always point fingers at other nations without looking at their own behaviour.
In addition, in the small town I live in, nobody asks what affect the loud shooting range has on children in this area. True Wild West...

Teresa Antela
Teresa Antela2 years ago

Frances Bell you are right. Petition signed

Ana Luisa Luque M.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry but I can't watch the video. I know is the most horrific video and scene. I don't like fur, NEVER EVER.

Barbara V.
Barbara V2 years ago

Back in the stone age, they wore the corpses of animals because they had nothing else. Today, people wear those corpses to show off. Do you realize how sick it is for an animal to forfeit its life so that wealthy humans can wear its corpse? It's about time this kind of thing was outlawed. Some people are the sickest critters on the planet. .

Thomas G.
Thomas G2 years ago

These people are the worst kind of terrorist. No living creature deserves to suffer at the hands of man.

Terri S.
Terri S2 years ago

Wearing and selling fur should be illegal worldwide PERIOD!!!!!!!!

Terri S.
Terri S2 years ago

Traps and trapping should be illegal worldwide PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!